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Daily News Roundup: Tuesday, 4th September 2018

Posted: 4th September 2018


TSB customers hit by latest IT failure

TSB is investigating how planned maintenance of its online banking systems over the weekend left thousands of customers locked out of their accounts on Monday. The bank was quick to apologise but customers trying to log in reported being denied access for using the “wrong” login and password details, even though they knew they were correct.

Savers fail to see rate rise passed on

Lenders are failing to pass on the full base rate rise to savers, a month after it went up by 0.25% to 0.75%. Following a study, the site's Rachel Springall noted: "Savers should switch if they get a raw deal." Anna Bowes of Savings Champion had this to say: “The High Street banks where the majority of people hold their money have been really, really dreadful in terms of passing rate rises on.” She went on: “You don't get anything for loyalty, and it's really important for savers to move away so they can start earning a decent return on their money.”

Regulators call for bank customers to be more discerning

Juliet Samuel, writing in the Daily Telegraph, notes that most consumers remain with the lenders they have banked with all their lives, and that regulators are struggling to convince bank customers to shop around for the best deals. She concludes that consumers’ failure to switch banks might be caused by a lack of real difference between rival lenders.

New bank director at M&S

Kirsty Ward has been named director of Marks & Spencer Bank and Services. She will take up the role in November, joining from Walmart, where she is currently vice-president of financial services.

Lloyds plans to use BoE-backed alternative to Libor

Lloyds Banking Group is preparing to issue the first bonds tied to the Bank of England's replacement for the Libor interest rate. Sonia is a three-year sterling benchmark floating rate covered bond tied to the Sterling Overnight Index Average. Peter Green, Lloyds’ head of public senior funding and covered bonds, remarked: "It's exciting to be the first bank to be looking at this type of transaction."

Board reshuffle at Lloyds

Lloyds Bank has appointed Amanda Mackenzie, a senior marketing executive who previously worked at Aviva, Centrica and BT, to its board of as a non-executive. Nigel Hinshelwood, former head of HSBC UK, has also been appointed to the board of Lloyds’ ring-fenced UK retail bank.


Royal Mail acquires Dicom in Canada

Royal Mail has acquired business-to-business parcel company Dicom Canada from US private-equity group Wind Point Partners, for C$360m (£214m) on a debt- and cash- free basis.


Deportation likely for ex-UBS trader

Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli, who served half of a seven-year prison sentence after running up the largest unauthorised trading loss in British history, may be deported to Ghana under the Home Office’s policy of deporting any offender sentenced to more than four years.

US sanction violations could lead to £1bn fine for SocGen

Société Générale has said it may have to pay around €1.2bn (£1.08bn) in penalties relating to a conflict with US authorities over international sanctions violations. A statement from the lender noted: "Société Générale expects that the amount of the penalties in the US Sanctions Matter will be almost entirely covered by the provision for disputes allocated to this matter".

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank discusses merger with rivals

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has announced early merger talks with Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank. A combined lender could boast $113bn (£88bn) in assets.

First tranche from $9bn start-up fund deployed in South Korea

The first tranche of a $9bn-plus investment fund to boost start-ups has begun rolling out in South Korea, amid warnings that the country’s export-led growth model is failing.

Sanctions fears prompt sale of Russian bank’s US unit

The “current geopolitical landscape”, thought to refer to US sanctions, has prompted the sale of Russian bank VTB’s US unit VTB Capital to the subsidiary’s management.

Danske Bank money laundering revelations

Up to $30bn of Russian and ex-Soviet money flowed through the Estonian branch of Danske Bank in a year, according to an independent investigation into the scandal.


True Potential shines through

Newcastle-based wealth management platform True Potential, used by many UK independent financial advisers (IFAs), has appointed bankers from Perella Weinberg Partners to help plot a sale that could value it at close to £2bn. The fintech firm is owned by 739 individual partners, with a minority stake held by US-based private equity firm FTV Capital.

KKR hires new head of financial services for EMEA

KKR has named Daan Knottenbelt as new head of financial services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He joins from Palamon Capital Partners.


Dechra Pharmaceuticals preparing for Hard Brexit

Veterinary drugmaker Dechra Pharmaceuticals has revealed preparations for a “hard” Brexit, including the transfer of product registrations to the EU with a total cost of around £2m. Dechra said the “hard Brexit mitigation plan” will “provide an EU-based laboratory testing facility and staff for batch testing if this is required and the transfer of product registrations to an EU domiciled legal entity within the group”.

Data tampering issue leaves Randox with losses

County Antrim healthcare diagnostics firm Randox has revealed a pre-tax loss of £11m for 2017, partially due to a provision for the cost of re-running tests after Randox Testing Services (RTS) featured at the centre of an inquiry concerning alleged data tampering. It prompted a review of more than 10,000 criminal investigations where tests had been carried out by RTS.


Manufacturing confidence lowest since Brexit referendum

British manufacturing in August grew at its slowest pace in over two years, according to IHS Markit's latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the sector, to a 25-month low of 52.8 for the month. Business confidence was at a 22-month low, with 47% expecting higher production in a year’s time.


Crossrail delay hits house prices

New research suggests that the delay in the opening of Crossrail to autumn 2019 could result in substantial house price falls along its route. Emoov said that property values could sink as much as £10,000 in the short-term, with senior property executives expressing anger and frustration at the postponement. London Central Portfolio’s Naomi Heaton said: “Sellers banking on the Crossrail premium may well be disappointed.” Nested CEO Matt Robinson added: “Prices have been driven up and people have even bought homes and planned their future based on promises, only to have the rug swept out from beneath their feet.”


Consumer spending on the rise

According to data from Barclaycard, consumer spending rose by 4.5% in August compared with the previous year. Entertainment saw the biggest jump in spending as ticket sales climbed by 8.6% and spending in pubs increased by 11.9%.


Economy 2% smaller than it would have been without Brexit

Research by UBS suggests the UK economy is already 2% smaller than it would have been had the public not voted to leave the EU, while investment is 4% lower and consumption 1.7% down.

Pound hits four-month low against euro

Growing opposition to Theresa May's Brexit plan combined with a slump in UK manufacturing growth pushed sterling to its lowest level against the euro in four months.


Banks make responsible business awards shortlist

Metro Bank and asset manager Blackrock are among six firms on the City of London Corporation's shortlist for the Lord Mayor’s Business of Trust Champion Award, which is aimed at celebrating companies championing responsible business practices. Other firms on the shortlist are regulatory technology firm Enforcd, app data service Reincubate, sealmaker AESSEAL, and communications firm Black Sun.

Lloyds lookalike campaign

Celebrity lookalikes are being used by Lloyds Bank to highlight the 500,000 British businesses who have fallen victim to impersonation fraud. SMEs are being warned that they could lose around £27,000 if crooks use the information and personal data of suppliers, executives or business contacts and impersonate them to defraud firms.

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